HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Saturday, Whitesburg Baptist Church gave members from a variety of congregations the opportunity to learn how to train or start security teams to prepare churches for active shooters.
Assistant Chief of Security Edward Hill said this is a first for the Huntsville area.
"Local churches in our area have not had the opportunity to form, or even realize there are available resources to help them form, security teams within the community," he explained.
Hill said now is a relevant time to bring more security to churches after recent events in the news.
"I'm hoping more responsible leaders will step up and say there should be a minimum requirement for trained security personnel in church, no different than trained security personnel who guard a facility like our paid security person here," he continued.
Hill and William Reeves said this conference is going to help prepare church members for active shooters, and they believe the Alabama Church Protection Act that was recently proposed in the Alabama legislature is needed within churches.
"I think there should be something in the laws that provide protection for our churches," Reeves stated.
Even though Hill and Reeves are for the bill, Hill feels it isn't enough.
"The bill, it honestly is watered down so much, that it's it's just a stand your ground for the church," he said.
Opponents of the bill say instead of allowing security teams to have firearms inside churches, they think churches need to improve mental health care to reduce the risk of deadly violence in churches.